Case Study: Unity Hospice Upgrades from Outdated Asset Tracking Methods and Saves Hundreds of Hours per Month

Unity Hospice provides professional health care to terminally-ill patients and their families in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Unity focuses on maintaining the dignity of its patients through pain management and both emotional and physical support during end-of-life stages.

“Because everything happens automatically through Asset Panda we no longer need to spend all our time making sure our paper records are up-to-date.”
– Avi Kolko, Director of Operations

Industry: hospice and home care provider

Location: Midwest region, United States

Asset Panda Solutions:

customization
mobile asset tracking
inventory check-out and returns
real-time asset tracking
maintenance tracking
categories
tags
multiple users

Hours saved since implementation: hundreds of hours per month

Customer since: March 2017

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Director of Operations Avi Kolko Sees More Improved, Streamlined Processes Thanks to Asset Panda

The Challenge

Unity Hospice routinely uses, distributes, and transfers thousands of pieces of medical equipment across not just three different states, but also across four warehouses, various nursing facilities, and the private homes of patients. Before July 2016, Unity’s medical equipment department wasn’t using any single, central solution to keep track of all these assets, and was instead swapping between paper records, Excel spreadsheets, and even a Unix system.

For a while, these methods seemed to work. But soon enough, Director of Operations Avi Kolko knew things would have to change.

“Depending on the warehouse, we either used paper records, two of our warehouses used a shared Excel spreadsheet, and one of our warehouses would fax paper records to our corporate office where there was one woman who still knew how to use some outdated Unix system to enter the information,” Kolko explained. “So basically we had four warehouses that used very old, outdated systems that didn’t work for us. We had no accurate or timely picture of where our equipment was. We had no clue if our equipment was in the warehouse, was being delivered, [was] with a patient, [or if it] had it been discarded.”

Additionally, Kolko said that Unity’s asset tracking problems were causing equipment to go missing. “Before we started using Asset Panda, we were losing equipment,” Kolko said. “We simply didn’t know where our equipment was, and we didn’t have an accurate picture of the status or location of our equipment.”

Of course, not knowing the status or location of medical equipment can cause incredible problems not just for the healthcare provider, but also for the patients it’s supposed to be serving. Kolko was very aware of the potential liability and legal issues which Unity could face if his company was unable to properly maintain and track all the medical equipment in its warehouses and out in the field, not to mention Unity’s inability to provide quality care and support to its patients. As such, Kolko and his Unity teammates decided it was time to look for a new asset tracking solution.

The Solution

Kolko knew what his company needed out of the new system they would adopt. First of all, the software needed to maintain a thorough, up-to-date catalog of their medical equipment across all locations. This requirement meant that whatever asset tracking system Unity settled on would have to be 100% usable out-of-the-box, or at least fully customizable if it wasn’t. Second, Kolko wanted a solution which had mobile support, since much of Unity’s medical equipment was often on-the-go, outside the warehouses and corporate office in patients’ homes or hospice care centers.

Kolko started the process of looking for an asset tracking system which would meet these needs, but the task wasn’t easy. He tried about a dozen asset tracking systems, finding none were good enough for his company in one way or another. Some were too expensive for Unity’s budget, while others “looked like they were developed in the ‘90s.” Kolko’s biggest frustration was that most weren’t customizable and wouldn’t let Unity do what it needed to do.

“I remember speaking to a company that provided asset tracking specifically for medical equipment, and we were discussing how we could use their software for us,” Kolko recalled. “We were doing an online demo and the woman told me that as we’re loading up the trucks, we would do X, Y, Z, and I told her we don’t do it that way, we do it a different way. She said ‘our way is better.’ At that point, I realized that’s not the software we were looking for.”

Kolko finally ran across Asset Panda and decided to give it a shot, despite having hesitations about its ability to meet Unity’s requirements. However, once Kolko and his team got in touch with Asset Panda’s support team, they quickly changed their minds.

“We spoke with one of the implementation specialists at Asset Panda and they built us a system that is so powerful it really exceeded all of our expectations,” Kolko explained. “We found that Asset Panda allowed us to work the way we work and improve our methods. We weren’t asked to do it differently. Asset Panda let us do what we wanted to do and just be better at it — more efficient and more productive. That’s what’s so unique with Asset Panda. There are so many ways to customize the software, so many ways to configure the software it could really adapt to the processes and workflows that we had in place.”

Results

So just how much more efficient and productive was Unity and its employees after implementing Asset Panda? Kolko said his team is saving hundreds of hours per month thanks to the various benefits the software provides. In particular, the move from pen-and-paper to digital asset tracking was key in helping Unity reduce the amount of time its workers spent on mundane record-keeping tasks.

“We no longer have paper orders or have paper maintenance logs. Everything is through Asset Panda,” Kolko explained. “Asset panda has given us 3 things: first, we do all our order management through Asset Panda (completely paperless); second of all, we do all our asset tracking through Asset Panda (completely paperless); and third, we have all our maintenance logs through Asset Panda (again, completely paperless). This enables us to save hundreds of man-hours every month because everything happens automatically through Asset Panda, and we no longer need to spend all our time making sure our paper records are up-to-date.”

Additionally, Kolko noted his team is able to save hundreds of more hours due to the automated processes within Asset Panda which eliminate the need for employees to go in and update everything by hand. “One of the best things about using Asset Panda is a lot of the things that used to happen individually now happen at once. For example, when we’re delivering equipment to a patient, just by scanning all the items we’re delivering we know where those items are, the order is marked as complete, and all that information is transferred to our medical records system. This also saves us hundreds of hours of work that would have to otherwise be done manually.”

Asset Panda has also helped Unity Hospice save money by giving the company a better picture of the status of their assets and what equipment actually needs to be replaced. Before using the software, Kolko said it was nearly impossible to know where equipment was and keep it from getting lost. “Now that we have Asset Panda, we’re confident that we know at any given time where our equipment is, and this has saved us a considerable amount of money because we don’t have to buy so much equipment to replace the equipment we were losing.”

Thanks to Asset Panda, Kolko and his colleagues at Unity Hospice are also able to:

  • Use the mobile app (available for Android or iPhone) to track assets from any Unity location in the Midwest
  • Stay on top of assets thanks to up-to-date data
  • Pull reports from anytime and anywhere they’re needed
  • Resolve any problems right away through Asset Panda’s customer service support

Conclusion

Kolko said he couldn’t be happier with everything Asset Panda has done for Unity, especially having it customized to meet his company’s needs.

“Asset Panda helped us streamline our processes by providing us with an accurate picture at any given time of where our equipment is and the status of that equipment,” Kolko said. “When I recommend the software, I tell people that Asset Panda is truly the Swiss Army knife of asset tracking because there are so many ways to customize it to make sure it does exactly what you need it to do. If you’re looking for a solution for your asset tracking needs and you want to save money and man-hours and want a company that is easy to work with, I would highly recommend Asset Panda.”

 

With Asset Panda, your medical facility, hospital, or other healthcare practice can save time and money much like it did for Kolko at Unity. With our customizable system, you can make sure every single detail you need to know about your equipment is cataloged — right down to the very width of the medical tubes you use on a regular basis. You can also track all your equipment in real time, know exactly when each was last serviced or maintained, and reduce the amount of equipment which gets lost. You’ll also save yourself money in the long run by avoiding time wasted on processes which could be automated, therefore increasing your ability to serve your patients and increase the reliability of your practice. Sign up for a free, 14-day trial here, or give us a call at 855-898-6058 to get a quote.

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